Dogs and other pets as loved family members
Shockingly, pets may be killed, 'put to sleep' or die from natural causes. It is an underestimated grieving that owners and family members may feel very very deeply. When pets are destroyed (for whatever the reasons) there can be great confusion and guilt. Sadness, depression, dismay and perhaps also relief are common reactions to the loss of a loved pet. No matter how small, for how short or long a period, whatever the circumstances, that living being is a highly regarded presence in the every day life of a person and their contacts.
It may seem impossible to speak of such a loss, fearing the ridicule or the misunderstanding that this could mean so very much. The circumstances could be sudden or expected and disturbing. If you have the need to understand your separation from the animal you loved, it may simply be that you want to have someone witness and honour your missing of that special friend. Even if there are very disturbing images or recollections of the death and passing, it can be so helpful to talk with a professional counsellor. You matter. Your beloved pet matters.
Of course, many of us, seek to find that kind and unconditional love with another pet. It may be that you are ready to do that sooner or later? Whatever is happening, you do deserve attention for your thoughts and feelings about the one you have lost.
Related articles from our experts
- Loss can have different meanings
Maja Tomse (BA Psychology, PgDip Counselling, registered MBACP and BPS)14th October, 2017
- Supporting a grieving friend ? Here are 5 tips that might help
Anna Bassett BA (hons) MBACP9th October, 2017
- How to help someone who is bereaved
Mandie Howard Dip Counsellor, MBACP (Reg)9th October, 2017
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